July 21, 2011 8:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Comic-Con 2011: 'Wilfred's' Elijah Wood on Comedy and His Bromance With Jason Gann (Videos)
FX’s rookie comedy Wilfred has gone to the dogs in the best possible way.
Wilfred, a remake of the Australian short-turned-series with Jason Gann reprising his role as a dog who appears as a human in a trashy dog costume to Elijah Wood’s depressed Ryan, can also be described as a bromance between the two leads.
“It’s so rare to work with another actor where you feel safe,” Gann said during Thursday’s evening panel. “To be in this dog suit can turn to crap pretty quick but it felt like [Wood] and I were from the same kind of family of acting. He’s very truthful and that’s what I try and bring to the character.”
Wood, who kept fans on point after early questions about Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, noted acting opposite Gann helped make his first comedic role easy.
Comic-Con 2011: Full THR Coverage
“I felt very safe jumping into a world of comedy that I’d never done before,” Wood said, noting that the series reminds him of a “screwed up Calvin and Hobbes.” “We’re doing a lot of bizarre things and my character has to react to them and I always feel safe in front of Jason to play it and see where it goes.”
During the panel, which screened next week’s episode – featuring Jane Kaczmarek and a poor stuffed giraffe that Wilfred more than has his way with -- showrunner David Zuckerman teased that future episodes might shift from being told from Ryan’s point of view.
STORY: 'Wilfred' Co-Creator Jason Gann Wants to be the Next Chuck Lorre
“We may in future episodes take some different approaches to storytelling,” he said. “I think you can expect the unexpected if we’re doing our job right.”
As for how the insane amount of pot smoking that Wilfred and Ryan do, Zuckerman noted that “not a single writer was high in the writers’ room when we wrote this show,” and that it was “easy to write trippy stuff; what’s hard is to get it on the air.”
“The show isn’t about pot but it is best enjoyed under the influence,” he joked.
As for what’s ahead, Zuckerman teased that more of Ryan’s back story and what led him to the suicide attempt featured in Wilfred’s opening scene would come to light.
STORY: ‘Wilfred’: Elijah Wood Tries His Hand at Comedy With New FX Series
“My the end of the season, you’ll know much more about why he got to the state he was in when we met him,” he said. “You’ll also learn Wilfred’s back story and who and what he is.”
The absolute highlight of the panel, however, came when Gann – who co-created the Australian version -- was asked how he felt after reading Zuckerman’s draft of the pilot script. “I was crying with laughter after I saw the first copy of the script,” he said. “I felt like I just had a makeover and was scoring with a hot chick with big tits.”
Check out interviews with The Hollywood Reporter where Wood shares what was “a challenge,” “hilarious” and “surreal,” and find out how Gann approaches Wilfred’s “dogisms” as well as what you won’t see on the FX series.